Most Americans consume more than twice the recommended daily amount of sodium, which is found in processed food and beverages, and even in some over-the-counter medicines. As your elderly loved one ages, excess sodium intake can lead to many dangerous health conditions. Here are some of the health risks of a high sodium intake, brought to you by the senior care experts at Home Care Assistance Henderson. Fluid Retention One of sodium’s natural jobs is to help maintain proper water balance in the body. The more sodium your loved one ingests, the more fluids he or she may retain. Excess fluid retention can lead to swelling, which can cause or exacerbate pain from arthritis, injuries, and other conditions. Hypertension Fluid retention also causes swelling in blood vessels, which can lead to high blood pressure. When blood pressure becomes too high it’s called hypertension, which means the heart is having trouble pumping blood. Hypertension can lead to heart disease and heart failure. Stroke When hypertension becomes serious enough, your loved one’s arteries can become blocked, leading to a stoppage in blood flowto the brain known as a stroke. A severe stroke can be fatal, and even a mild stroke can cause permanent brain damage. Kidney Disease Kidneys filter toxins out of the body and eliminate them through the urine. As yourloved one ages, his or her kidney function may weaken and have to work harder to eliminate fluids. This can cause excess fluid and toxins to build up, which can lead to kidney disease and kidney failure. Osteoporosis The higher the salt intake, the more calcium your loved one’s body may excrete through the urine. High levels of calcium excretion can result in kidney stones or osteoporosis, a thinning and weakening of the bones. Stomach Cancer Excessive salt intake can cause chronic inflammation of the stomach to occur, which can lead to a condition called atrophic gastritis, a precursor to stomach cancer. Helping your loved one make healthy dietary adjustments can be difficult, but the benefits of a lower sodium intake may be worth the change. If your loved one needs assistance with grocery shopping or preparing healthy meals to keep his or her sodium intake at a moderate level, an hourly professional caregiver may be the perfect solution. For hourly care Henderson families trust, turn to Home Care Assistance. All of our care services are guaranteed for 100% satisfaction, and we never ask our clients to sign a long-term contract. For more information, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (702) 527-7723 to schedule a free in-home consultation.